Described as a venue that blurs the lines between restaurant, bar, club and show, Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas is the city's most talked about new "social club." Clay Paky lighting and MA lighting control play key roles in the unique venue, which represents a partnership of The Cosmopolitan, Coastal Luxury Management (food and beverages) and Spiegelworld (entertainment). Clay Paky and MA are exclusively distributed in North America by A.C.T Lighting, Inc.
Guests at Rose.Rabbit.Lie. can dine on a small-plate menu in the library area, have drinks at the bar and in the study, and catch the "Vegas Nocturne" ticketed show that plays three times throughout the night; the theater transforms into a club following the last show and performers turn up everywhere to entertain guests. Walls move up and down to reconfigure the space, and guests move from room to room as they choreograph their evening and enjoy a customized experience.
Justin Spangler and PSX Audiovisual Technologies in Covington, Louisiana, supplied the Clay Paky fixtures and grandMA2 gear and were also the integrator on the project.
Lighting designer Nick Whitehouse came on board at Rose.Rabbit.Lie. at the behest of Spiegelworld. He was tasked with creating theatrical lighting schemes for all nine rooms to enable every bit of the venue to act as a performance space.
"It was a large-scale project, the idea being that theatrical elements play around the whole venue," says Whitehouse. "So we really had to design the lighting to make performance possible anywhere - and have the performers lit properly anywhere. I needed to design a rig that could cope with anything without being just everywhere."
One of the biggest challenges was trim height since the overall trim of the venue was about 15 feet and some of the performers are high-wire and aerial acts, which come close to the lighting rig. "Many of these acts need to have consistent and very specific lighting for safety reasons, so I had to design a rig with proper lighting, safety and limited trim height in mind," Whitehouse says.
"I also had to be able to have up to three acts going on at the same time in different rooms and, since the show is constantly changing, make the rig adaptable to fast changes that happen pretty much all the time."
Whitehouse chose Clay Paky Alpha Spot QWO 800s as the spot fixtures throughout the venue. "They do the majority of work in the space. They light all the performances and provide the main key lighting," he explains. "Because the space is essentially in the round and performers use every part of the rooms, the fact that we had a fully-automated rig meant that we could reduce the number of fixtures as they could all do multiple jobs. The QWO 800 spots have amazing optics, high brightness and, most importantly, small size and weight. We use 64 throughout the space with the main concentration in the theater where the main show and nightclub are centered."
Whitehouse also selected 53 Clay Paky Sharpy Wash 330s as the main theatrical wash in the theater; he likes the fixture's size, speed and variable zoom and frost features. "The spots and washes provide some great effects lighting as needed for the more up-tempo numbers with some really nice looking gobo and beam looks from the spots," he says. "They immediately transition into effects lighting for the nightclub, which opens after the 12 am show finishes."
Whitehouse had previously auditioned the QWO 800s for another project and has used the Sharpy Washes extensively. "I knew what they were capable of and that they would be perfect for this venue," he says. "I looked at other fixtures in the same size and power range but felt that none had the same quality of light."
He reports that the lights "work great - they're very reliable despite being pushed hard for 14 to 16 hours a day. They're doing everything I asked of them in the programming I did. I'm very happy with them."
Whitehouse runs the show on a grandMA2 light with an onPC system with both command wing and fader wing as the second operator position and back up. He also has an in-line NPU.
"A.C.T Lighting provided its usual high standard of support and stepped in to help with a full-size grandMA2 for me to program on," he notes. "We removed this system as soon as the heavy programming was finished."
Whitehouse is a "big fan" of the grandMA2. "It's such a stable, flexible console so it was the natural choice for this kind of show," he says. "The ability to have multiple users and operators and to quickly be able to change large parts of the programming are just a few of the reasons I chose grandMA2. In addition, the support of MA Lighting in Germany and A.C.T in the US are second to none, so I really wouldn't want to go anywhere else."
Whitehouse took advantage of grandMA2's timecode for a number of acts that needed to be well synchronized to their music tracks. "We also use the VyV tracking system in the MA 3D environment. We use it to track late-night bottle service in some quite cool ways: The tracking chip follows high-priced bottles to their tables in a very unique way for Vegas!"
Whitehouse programmed the main show in the theater and oversaw the programming as a whole; David Schulman and Michelle Harvey programmed the other rooms at Rose.Rabbit.Lie. "Bobby Brooks did an exceptional job with the nightclub programming and late-night acts and with generally cleaning up the show files since a lot of fixtures are run from the grandMA2, including all the house lights," says Whitehouse. Brooks is currently the operator for the main show, which runs on the grandMA2 light. Harvey runs the shows in the other rooms from the onPC set up.
"It's always a pleasure to work with Nick on his projects," comments George Masek, A.C.T Lighting Vice President of Automated Lighting. "No matter the act or venue, Nick always finds creative, interesting and ground-breaking solutions. A.C.T and our partners are proud to be a part of his work."